'Zona Norte Is Arellano Cartel'
Zona Norte Tijuana is home of the infamous red light district, and heavily trafficked by tourists from San Diego, seeking the sordid and sleazy thrills of the cities sex trafficking trade. It is also one of the forefronts of the retail drug trade, as meth, heroin, pills, and marijuana are sold in wraps, to the local residents, as well as the swells of visitors from the north.
As Tijuana, and Mexico as a whole descended into the bloody chaos of Felipe Calderon's administration, post 2005, retail drug markets began an increasingly integral asset of organized crime groups. They served to fund the wars, and increase drug profits, in turn unleashing an epidemic of addiction and social problems, as well as extreme violence as these retail markets became the battlefield for rival organizations.
Local drug dealers, tienderos, are generally the first victims in flare ups and wars between crews, they are dismembered, kidnapped, and displayed with viciousness, as groups attempt to one up the others cruelty. Tijuana has seen less and less of these kinds of incidents, yet they still linger….bodies casually dropped in the street, crudely written messages, cryptic and ominous scrawled on papers or cardboard, left on the victims. Flesh and blood warnings para los contras.
"This goes for all the smugglers, tienderos, westeros credit card, that turned flag…Zona Norta is cartel Arellano' carefully 'La Barredora' (The Sweeper).
The bearer of the message was shot, several times with a .45 caliber pistol, the message was attached with an once pick into the victim. 'La Barredora' is not all known in Tijuana, though there is some small traces of a criminal cell operating in Zona Norte, as kidnappers and extortionists, as far back as 2013, according to the article.
The article mentions members of the cells attempts to locate and find rival drug dealers, picking up people on the street, to interrogate them for the location and names of rivals. The known boss of the Zona Norte has been Manuel Luis Toscano, 'El Mono', who has been arrested at least three times in the last year, yet always has been quietly released.
It is common for narco cells to fight for control of retail markets, though these kind of big profile tactics have been less common, and discouraged internally. It is up for debate whether the message is from people actually representing the long troubled and largely nonexistent Arellano Felix, CAF. it is also common for narco messages to be disinformation, to discredit, disguise, or call attention to rival groups. There are no known Arellano Felix members known to be active in the business. Many cells and lieutenants began working with Sinaloa and their representatives in Tijuana, others work with CJNG, others work alone. A recent Zeta article detailed Arellano Felix cells and members who had been displaced, but had not switched, these included 'El Chan', and '5-8'.
The dancers grind slide down the poles, the small wraps are sold in the bathroom, consumed in dingy hotel rooms, inhaling meth and alcohol, lost in the sensations of sex and sin…..The women unwrap condoms, endure another shift, men stumble back home, the scent of cheap perfume and unmade beds still clinging to their clothes…..The taxi drivers shuttle the women to hotels, and back to the club, the patrons from the bar to the brothel, and back to la linea…Zona Norte, Tijuana.
Sources: Zeta Tijuana, El Mexicano.